Sigh of Relief

Last Night

How to summarize last night’s game?  How about like this:

– Things started out great

– Things got bad

– Things got really bad and ugly

– Things ended well

That about do it?

In the course of a normal season, last night’s game would have been outstanding – a potential game of the year candidate.  It had everything: lead changes, comebacks, massive home runs, sloppy play, good pitching, bad pitching, and a Blue Jays victory.

But, of course, 2013 is anything but a normal season.  Sitting at 9-17 and already 9.5 games behind Boston in the East, Toronto could not afford another loss . Already hemorrhaging fans at an alarming pace, and with the #FireGibbons movement picking up steam, the Jays had to stop the bleeding.  A win was mandatory.

And just like it seemed like fans were going to be (finally) satisfied, the 7th inning happened.  By the 7th, a 4-0 lead had already slipped to 4-3, grown to 6-3, then slipped to 6-4.  With one on and one out, a tailor made double play ball was hit to Kawasaki at short . He promptly threw it away.  A walk and a double later, the Jays are down 7-6, and the world is over.

Thankfully Edwin destroyed a pitch in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the lead and the Jays hung on for the much needed win.

But again – this has not been a normal year, so although it felt great to break the losing streak and to beat the best team in the division. you can’t help but think about the problems, such as:

– The pitching.  Staked to a 4-0 lead, Brandon Morrow just couldn’t make the pitches he needed in order to wrap the game up.  He gave up two home runs in the fourth, then three singles in the fifth, and never even made it out to see the sixth inning.

– The offense . Yes they scored nine runs, but they were gifted two on a terrible error by Saltalamacchia and scored four on home runs – and in reality they easily could have scored much, much more.  They had a runner on second with one out in the first and failed to bring him home.  They had the bases loaded with nobody out in the third, and only the error saved them from disaster.  The strikeouts are still high (Rasmus, Bonficacio, and Cabrera each K’d twice), and Cabrera, Bonifacio, and Izturis continue to be terrible at the dish.

– The defense.  Officially, the error was given to Kawasaki, but the fault was clearly with Maicer Izturis.  The toss may have been a bit off, but it was catchable.  The effort to catch the ball was just plain feeble. 

Just plain feeble is a good way to describe Izturis thus far.  I was high on him in the offseason, but he has been unimpressive at best.  He has a .193 average, .510 OPS, and only 4 extra base hits in 83 at bats.  His mediocre at best defense doens’t come anywhere close to bailing him out either.

But hey – a win’s a win. 

In my mind, if Toronto can hang around the .500 mark and stay within 7-10 games of first until Reyes is back, they have a chance. 

One game at a time…

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